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Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids and their Biological Properties from Indian Heliotropium Species

[ Vol. 15 , Issue. 1 ]


Bharat Singh* and Ram A. Sharma   Pages 3 - 18 ( 16 )


Background: Pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) are a group of plant secondary metabolites which protect the plants from biotic stresses by stimulating defense mechanisms as well as adaptability. The pyrrolizidine alkaloids widely occur in members of Boraginaceae family. This review paper describes about the structural properties of various PAs isolated from various Indian Heliotropium species and their biological and pharmacological activities.

Methods: Authors surveyed the per-reviewed research, review papers and bibliographic databases and incorporated in this review paper. We have focused our attention on the answers of reviewed questions. The main themes and characteristics of reviewed papers have been described in this review paper.

Results: Twenty three species of Heliotropium genus were reviewed critically and have included in this review paper. The review paper contains the critical information of ethnomedicinal properties of each species of Heliotropium genus, the occurrence of pyrrolizidine alkaloids, the biological and pharmacological properties of pyrrplizidine alkaloids. So many pyrrolizidine alkaloids and their N-oxides possess anticancer activity. Some PAs have demonstrated cytotoxic effects also.

Conclusion: The findings of this review paper validate the significance of pyrrolizidine alkaloids, their occurrence and biosynthesis in Heliotropium species, as well as their biological and pharmacological properties.


Pyrrolizidine alkaloids, Heliotropium species, Boraginaceae, anticancer activity, hepatotoxic properties, open chain diester.


Institute of Biotechnology, Amity University Rajasthan, Jaipur – 303 002, Department of Botany, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur – 302004

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